Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tropical Storm

One of the unique (in comparison to the U.S.) features of Okinawa is the frequency with which we are affected by tropical storms, and even typhoons. For those of you that are not quite sure, typhoons are identical to hurricanes, but are simply referred to as typhoons by virture of where they originate.

We are currently in typhoon "season" here, and our first tropical storm is churning around south of us. In the screen shot, you can see my little island circled in red, with the tropical fun circled in yellow. The storm is forecasted to head NNE to NE over the next few days, so we will get even more rain than we already are, with some increased winds thrown in for fun.

I moved from a 9th floor apartment to my current ground level house about a year or so ago, and we haven't had a really strong typhoon come through since then. The last time we had a real doozy, I had a nice view of the carnage from my 9th floor balcony, and there was no yard for me to clean up. Being at ground level will undoubtedly increase the chances of flooding in our home, since Okinawans LOVE to put as many sliding glass doors in their buildings as they can possibly fit. We enjoy having the light and the view, but it is worrisome with powerful storms on the horizon.

I will also be heading to the continental U.S. on a three week trip in July, so I wonder how our little house will fare while we are away. I'm sure I'll be trying to keep an "eye" on the weather via the internet during our trip, but there won't be much that I can do to clean up any damage or debris after a typhoon. Luckily, we're on good terms with our very nice neighbors, and they have agreed to keep up the yard while we're gone.

Needless to say, extremes in the weather can certainly have an adverse effect on outdoor activities. Today is the nicest day we've had in a couple of weeks, but being Father's Day, I'll probably be spending most of it at home with family.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It has been raining pretty steadily here for three days now. There's no break forecasted for the immediate future.

This puts a damper on outdoor activities, like Geocaching. Sure; I could still go, and run around getting soaked to the bone. I do enough of that at work, thank you.

Since I've come down with some kind of crud, I think I'll just stay home today and lay around the house.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Garmin Customer Support

I purchased the Garmin City Navigator NT North America software recently (happy birthday to me!), and was having a bit of trouble installing the "unlock" code that must be retrieved from Garmin's website.

The description on their site didn't seem to match the user interface on the latest version of the software, at first. I tried a couple of different things, but just couldn't seem to get the unlock code to work for me. Buyers are required to retrieve a one-time-use code from Garmin in order to use all of the features of the software (to prevent people from installing the maps on all of their buddies' GPS units).

I contacted Garmin's customer support through their website, and got a very polite, and very helpful response very quickly. Garmin walked me through the process of unlocking the software, and did it without much hooplah. What a refreshing change of pace!

I wish that all customer support venues were as helpful as Garmin's was (hello, Groundspeak?).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kin and Yaka

I've found a few Geocaches over the last couple of days, all after work. I've been fortunate enough to get off of work pretty early (about 1:30 PM) for two days in a row. I'm certainly not complaining about that.

Yesterday I stopped at Yaka Beach and did a two part multi-cache. The weather was beautiful--It was sunny with a nice breeze. After that, I hit a neat little spot in Ishikawa, where a neighbor of mine has a Geocache hidden. Since he's currently out of the country, I'm supposed to be keeping an eye on his hidden caches. That means I have to find the rest of them (I've found about half of his caches).

Today I headed North from Camp Hansen, and hit three spots that looked promising. The first one was near the Kin Bridge, and I found the cache easily. It wasn't too far from my own "Old McDonald" caches. Next, it was off to a small shrine a little farther up the road. I couldn't find that one, due to the construction workers that seemed to be on a perpetual break. It was a neat shrine, though. Next, I stopped at a little restaurant that has apartments above it. The cache was well hidden, and the mosquitoes were out in force.

It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours after work, and the scenery was nice.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


We went out to eat at this neat restaurant on Saturday night; it's named Anzuya. My buddy Kraig went with us, and it was sort of a going away meal, since he's leaving Okinawa next weekend.

The food was really good, especially the sashimi. There was quite a variety of dishes, and the atmosphere was nice. Of particular note was the glass floors. The room we were in sits over a pool of water, with fountains and lights in it. It makes for a strange sensation when walking around in there.

We really enjoyed ourselves, and Kraig and I hid a nano cache behind the restaurant after dinner. The first three people that tried to find it logged DNFs (did not find), so I think it is very well hidden. We named the geocache, "Sayonara Kraig."

Good times.